Whitehorse Celebrates Completion of Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre
Whitehorse, Yukon, June 21, 2012 – Officials from the federal and territorial governments and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation were on hand today to celebrate the grand opening of the new Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, located on the beautiful Whitehorse waterfront.
The new Centre celebrates both the heritage and contemporary way of life of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, and is a gathering place for people of all cultures. The new Centre will have the capacity to host events and exhibits, offer cultural programming and language classes, and will be a place where people can learn about the Kwanlin Dün culture through the sharing of stories, art, music and traditional food.
"The Government of Canada was pleased to work with the Yukon Government and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation to bring this important project to life," said Ryan Leef, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
"Our partnership created local jobs, supported the economy and provided the community with an educational and cultural centre that celebrates and promotes the rich culture and traditions of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation."
Also featured at the Centre are conference rooms, an elders' lounge, a sacred space, a fully-equipped kitchen, space for museum exhibits, and the new Whitehorse Public Library, which officially opened its doors in December 2011.
"The Yukon government is proud of our partnership with the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Government of Canada in completing this much-anticipated cultural centre," said Premier Darrell Pasloski.
"Congratulations to the Kwanlin Dün First Nation on the opening of their beautiful facility, which represents the return of the Kwanlin Dün people to the banks of the Yukon River, their traditional home. This new gathering place will enable all of us to enjoy and appreciate First Nation culture and heritage year-round."
"The opening of our Cultural Centre, is a major milestone in Kwanlin Dün's work to implement our land claim agreement. This day also marks a deeply meaningful event for our people, as we celebrate the reclamation of our ancestral home along the Yukon River," said Rick O'Brien, Chief of Kwanlin Dün First Nation.
"This is an example of what can be achieved when federal, territorial and First Nation governments work together."
The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre was funded jointly by Canada, Yukon and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF). Canada and Yukon each contributed $7.4 million toward the project and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation contributed approximately $7.9 million. The total cost of the cultural centre and new library is $22.7 million.
Investing in infrastructure is a key part of the Government of Canada's plan to create jobs, generate economic growth and ensure long-term prosperity. Over the course of the summer, the Government of Canada will be engaging provinces, territories and stakeholders in a series of roundtables to develop a new long-term infrastructure plan. This plan will focus on investments that support job creation and economic growth, while building strong, prosperous communities across the country. In addition, the Government of Canada will hold a roundtable with national stakeholders and representatives of the private sector at the end of the summer. Working together to develop this plan will provide new opportunities for all orders of government and the private sector to build partnerships to improve public infrastructure in Canada.
For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure, visit Infrastructure Canada.
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Bonnie Venton Ross
Communications, Community Services
Lael C. Lund
Kwanlin Dün First Nation
Or toll-free 1-877-250-7154
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